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BREAKING NEWS: USCIS Will Begin Premium Processing for FY 2016 H-1B Petitions on April 27, 2015

On April 13, 2015, USCIS has announced that it has reached the H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions were received for this filing period, including petitions filed for the master’s cap, which is about 60,500 more in total than last year. Roughly, this year’s chances of being selected is about 36.5%.

As of our firm, about 18.4% of our cases were filed under master’s cap petitions and about 75% were filed in general bachelor’s cap, with remaining 6.6% being cap exempt petitions. 82.9% cases were filed with California Service Center and 17.1% were filed with Vermont Service Center.

USCIS has used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general bachelor’s cap and the 20,000 master’s cap. USCIS conducted the selection process for the master’s cap petitions first. All un-selected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

USCIS will soon start depositing filing fees for the 85,000 selected petitions and returning all un-selected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing. To find out the lottery result earlier, petitioners may periodically check their bank record to see if their checks for filing fees are cashed.

On April 27, 2015, USCIS will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.